Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Short Stories > Light O' The Morning > CHAPTER XXXI. — RELEASE OF THE CAPTIVE.
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 All Nora's wishes were carried into effect. The long cart was got out. An old mattress was secured, also an old bedstead. The mattress happened to be well aired, for, indeed, it was one on which the Squire himself had slept the previous night; but, as he remarked, he would gladly give the bed from under him for the sake of his old friend O'Shanaghgan.  
Molly helped, also Biddy and Nora, in all the preparations, and at last the three girls jumped upon the outside car and returned to O'Shanaghgan. Biddy felt that she was anything but welcome. She was certainly not looking her best. Her dress was of the shabbiest, and her turned-up nose looked more celestial than ever. Molly was gazing at her just as if she were a sort of curiosity, and finally Biddy resented this close scrutiny, and turned to Nora, grasping her by the hand.
“Tell her,” said Biddy, “that it is very rude to stare in that sort of stolid way. If she were an Irish girl she would give a flashing glance and then look away again; but that way of staring full and stiff puts a body out. Tell her it is not true Irish manners.”
“Oh, Jehoshaphat!” exclaimed Molly, “I hear you both whispering together. What is it all about? I am nearly wild trying to keep myself on this awful car, and I know you are saying something not in my favor.”
“We are that,” cried Biddy; “we are just wishing you would keep your English manners to yourself.”
Molly flushed rather indignantly.
“I did not know that I was doing anything,” she said.
“Why, then,” cried Biddy, “is it nothing when you are bringing the blushes to my cheeks and the palpitation to my heart; and is it nothing to be, as it were, exposed to the scorn of the English? Why, then, bedad! I have got my nose from the old Irish kings, from whom I am descended, as true as true. Blue is my blood, and I am as proud of my ancestry as if I was Queen Victoria herself. I see that you have neat, straight features; but you have not got a scrap of royal blood in you—now, have you?”
“I don't think so,” answered Molly, laughing in spite of herself. “Well, if it offends you, I will try not to look at you again.”
The drive came to an end, and Nora entered the big, splendidly furnished hall, accompanied by Molly and Biddy. Mrs. O'Shanaghgan happened to be standing there. She came hurriedly forward.
“My dear Nora,” she began, but then her eyes fell upon Biddy. Her brows went up with a satirical action; she compressed her lips and kept back a sigh of annoyance.
“How do you do, Miss Murphy?” she said.
“I am fine, thank you kindly, ma'am,” replied Biddy; “and it is sorry I am that I had not time to change my dress and put on the pink one with the elegant little flounces that my aunt sent me from Dublin.”
“Oh, your present dress will do very well,” said Mrs. O'Shanaghgan, suppressing an internal shudder at the thought of Biddy at the renovated Castle of O'Shanaghgan in her dirty pink dress with the flounces.
“But, Miss Murphy,” she continued, “I am sorry that I cannot ask you to stay. The Squire is too unwell to admit of our having friends at present.”
“Oh, glory!” cried Biddy, “and how am I to get back again? Why, it was on your own outside car that I came across country, and I cannot walk all the way back to Cronane. Oh, but what a truly beautiful house! I never saw anything like it. Why, it is a sort of palace!”
Biddy's open admiration of the glories of O'Shanaghgan absolutely made the good mistress of the mansion smile. Mrs. O'Shanaghgan felt that Nora did not really care for the beautiful place—the grandly furnished rooms had brought no enthusiasm or delight to her heart. Nora had tried very hard to keep in her real feelings; but her mother was quite sharp enough to know what they were. There was little pleasure in taking a girl round rooms, corridors, and galleries when she was only forcing herself to say pretty things which she did not feel. Molly, of course, had always lived in a beautiful and well-furnished house; therefore there was nothing exciting in showing her the present magnificence of O'Shanaghgan, and half Mrs. O'Shanaghgan's pleasure was showing the place in its now regal state to her friends. Biddy's remark, therefore, was most fortunate. Even wild, unkempt, untaught Irish Biddy was better than no one.
“I tell you what it is,” said the good lady, with quite a gracious expression stealing over her features, “if you will promise to walk softly, and not to make any loud remarks, I will take you through the suite of drawing rooms and the big dining room and my morning room; but you must promise to be very quiet if I give you this great pleasure.”
“And it is glad I'll be, and as mum as a mouse. I'll hold my hands to my heart, and keep in everything; but, oh, Mrs. O'Shanaghgan, if I am fit to burst now and then, you will let me run to the window and give a big sigh? It is all I'll ask, to relieve myself; but mum's the word for everything else.”
On these terms Mrs. O'Shanaghgan conducted her unwelcome guest through the rooms, and after a brief tour Biddy joined her companions in the yard. Nora was busy sweeping out the barn herself, and, with the aid of Hannah Croneen and Molly, was already beginning to put it to rights. Biddy was now free to join the other conspirators, and the girls quickly became friends under these conditions.
Hannah proved herself a most valuable ally. She whisked about, dashing here and there, raising a whirlwind of dust, but, in Nora's opinion, effecting wonders. Angus also was drawn into the midst of the fray. His delight and approval of Nora's scheme was almost beyond bounds.
“Ah, then,” he said; “it's this will do the masther good. Oh, then, Miss Nora, it's you that has the 'cute ways.”
A tarpaulin was found a............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved